Patlin Blog

Final Mile: Iveco Daily 4x4

Posted by Operations Patlin> on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Final Mile: Iveco Daily 4x4

If you want a small truck that can go anywhere and hold its own against jacked up 4WDs, is easy to drive on the highway and doesn’t guzzle fuel, then Iveco’s Daily 4X4 may just tick your boxes.

There is high demand in Australia for equipment that can move both people and freight into hard-to-reach places, which is one reason why our age-old love affair with 4WDs continues. Iveco has now added a 4WD version of the Daily to the list of possible candidates.

Our test unit is a cab chassis that is yet to be fitted with a tray, so we won’t get the opportunity to put the Daily 4X4 through its paces off-road. But, we’ll still climb up and down some steep banks to get an idea of its capabilities.

Upon taking off, we realise that the design and elevated height of the Daily provide exceptional approach and departure angles, which is important for avoiding damage to both bodywork and components. In fact, the cab is so high that we are at eye level with drivers of full-size conventional trucks at the first set of traffic lights. The downside is that a stepladder is required to check the engine oil.

Getting into the cab is quite a climb too – you have to use the solid bottom steel step and the standard step in the door well to get in. An additional grab handle on the B pillar would be appreciated to complement the one mounted on the A-pillars.
Once in the driver’s seat, the layout is similar to regular Dailys – other than the outlook being almost truck-like.

Who will help shape the future of transport?

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Transport for NSW has invited Expressions of Interest from organisations and individuals to participate in the governance of the Smart Innovation Centre or investing and collaborating on technology projects to help shape the state’s future transport systems.

The projects undertaken at the research hub include testing of vehicles and technologies, pilots and demonstrations for connected and automated vehicles, and data simulations or modelling of the outcomes of new transport technologies.

Involvement in the Centre will reportedly give partners access to a vehicle testing and demonstration environment at the Transport NSW Crashlab facility in Western Sydney and the opportunity to work with NSW Government agencies, interstate counterparts and national automated vehicle programs.

Secretary of Transport for NSW, Tim Reardon said the Centre would play a key role in putting NSW at the forefront of applying emerging technologies to improve transport.

“For more than 100 years a road has been a relatively simple piece of infrastructure and a car has been controlled by a driver,” Reardon said.

“Now we’re on the cusp of using our road infrastructure in a much smarter way. That offers some incredibly exciting opportunities for improving the efficiency, accessibility and safety of road travel.

“Transport for NSW is determined not to get in the way of innovation – we want to support and contribute to the next big ideas.w

“That’s why we’re preparing now for the eventual arrival of automated vehicles and working with our federal and interstate counterparts to explore the legislative, regulatory and road design changes necessary to allow the introduction of these types of technologies in the future.

“The Smart Innovation Centre will support this process and we’re looking for organisations and individuals who want to work with us to set the agenda and drive change,” Reardon said.

Second gantry installed near Montague Street Bridge

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Victorian State Government has announced the installation of a second gantry near the Montague Street Bridge in South Melbourne, in a bid to stop trucks and larger vehicles hitting the bridge.

Since 2011, there have been 102 reported strikes, including a serious bus crash in February this year.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, and Member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, this week inspected the new gantries that have been installed on the Normanby Road and City Road approaches to the three metre bridge.

“There are 26 advanced warnings signs and now two new gantries to stop people from hitting the Bridge,” Minister Donnellan said. “The Montague Street Bridge has seen over a hundred bridge strikes since 2011 – we’ve taken action to give this monument to our city a well-earned rest.”

Black and yellow plastic paddles hang from the gantries, which alert drivers who hit them that they are over-height, allowing them the opportunity to divert their journey to avoid hitting the bridge.

On top of the gantries, an additional advance warning signage has been installed on Montague Street and surrounding roads alerting drivers about the low-clearance bridge and providing alternate routes


Posted by Darren Hayes> on Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Change management is on the menu at Trucking Australia 2016, with renowned psychologist Alison Hill (left) sharing her strategies to help businesses manage change at the MTData business lunch on Friday 24 June.

Trucking Australia 2016 will take place at the Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 June.

Alison Hill is the co-author of the best-selling business book 'Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to achieve results from key conversations', is a regular on Channel 9 'Mornings', and is highly sought after to assist individuals and teams transition through change.

Alison said today’s relentless environment of constant change could make it hard for people to keep up without getting overloaded or burned out.

“With modern technology, the speed of change is faster now than it ever has been. It’s leaving people reeling,” she said.

“But change isn’t the enemy, and with it comes opportunity. With some simple strategies, you can manage workplace changes to get the best results for you and your team.”

ATA CEO Chris Melham said the trucking industry was expected to cope with changes on a regular basis.

“Trucking operators are forced to keep abreast of a vast number of rules and regulations, including many that change between jurisdictions, or that apply differently depending on which heavy vehicle combination you use,” he said.

“This also doesn’t account for other drastic changes the industry is exposed to, such as the short-lived and now abolished Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

“There’s no argument that it can be tough keeping abreast of these issues and regulations. But managing change well is essential to running a safe, professional and viable trucking business.

“We’re delighted to have Alison share her expertise as part of the MTData business lunch, and provide practical strategies to help businesses cope with the ever-changing industry landscape.

Iveco adds to off-road Trakker range

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Iveco has expanded its heavy-duty off-road range with its new 18 tonne GVM 4x4 Trakker 360AD.

The Trakker is fitted with the 7.8-litre six-cylinder Iveco Cursor 8 engine with direct injection, producing 265 kW (360 hp) and 1,500 Nm of torque at 1,125 rpm.

Coupled to the Euro V-compliant engine is a ZF 16-speed manual transmission or users can specify Iveco’s Eurotronic 12-Speed Automated Transmission.

The new Trakker model has permanent 4x4 operation with hub reduction and triple differential locks at the front, centre and rear.

When fitted with the standard Michelin 385/65R22.5 XZY3 front and Michelin 315/80R22.5 XDY3 rear tyres, the Trakker 4x4 boasts 380mm of ground clearance at the front diff and 316mm at the rear diff.

According to Iveco, the Trakker 360AD comes standard with front and rear drum brakes with ABS and EBL (Electronic Brakeforce Limitation) and Anti-Skid Regulator (ASR).

Iveco product spokesperson, Joel Read, said the latest Trakker model would appeal to customers engaged in construction, mining and exploration, agricultural and emergency service work.

“The addition of a 4x4 Trakker model fills a niche between the Eurocargo 4x4 and the larger Trakker 6x6,” Read said.

“While there are similarities in applications the Trakker 4x4 and 6x6 models are targeted at, we’re finding that not all customers require a 33 tonne GVM off-road vehicle.

“The Trakker 4x4 has been available in New Zealand for some time and was well received there, and with its stellar off-road ability, we think it will develop a strong following in Australia as well.”

Caterpillar to stop vocational truck program

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Wednesday, March 02, 2016

US company Caterpillar has announced it will discontinue production of its vocational trucks in North America.

“Based on the current business climate in the truck industry and a thorough evaluation of the business, the company decided it would withdraw from [the vocational truck] market,” Caterpillar said in a media statement.

The move is reportedly in line with the company’s on-going restructuring to align its businesses with existing conditions, but won’t affect the Australian operation.

“It should be outlined that this announcement is purely focused on North America and has no influence or impression on how the local operations for the Australian or NZ business nor our product range,” said Glen Sharman, Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development at Navistar Auspac.

While the company will cease taking new orders for vocational trucks in the US, the Australian business will continue as usual, Sharman said.

“In line with the US, Caterpillar remains committed to existing truck customers and will support the existing trucks currently on the road.”

Caterpillar had launched its first vocational truck in the North American market in 2011, working with Navistar on the products’ design and build.

Last year, the company announced its intention to begin independently designing and manufacturing its vocational truck products at the Caterpillar plant in Victoria, Texas, but in light of the new direction, the project will now not be progressed.

“Remaining a viable competitor in this market would require significant additional investment to develop and launch a complete portfolio of trucks, and upon an updated review, we determined there was not a sufficient market opportunity to justify the investment,” explained Ramin Younessi, Vice President with responsibility for Caterpillar’s Industrial Power Systems Division.

“We have not yet started truck production in Victoria, and this decision allows us to exit this business before the transition occurs.

Image courtesy of Caterpillar.

NHVR releases permit volume and council performance maps

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Monday, January 25, 2016


The NHVR has this week released performance maps showing the average time taken by councils across Australia to progress permit requests in their area, as well as the number of requests received by each council in a year.

The average consent turnaround time ranges from 5 days or fewer through to more than 28 days, while volumes range from less than 5 requests to more than 50.

NHVR Director of Access Peter Caprioli said the NHVR developed tool will assist with the unblocking of impacted red areas shown on the maps.

"The NHVR has successfully collated and compared twelve months of data to illustrate and enhance our understanding of where the blockages are positioned," Mr Caprioli said.

"We understand that these obstructed areas are mainly due to road pavement conditions and maintenance infrastructure issues. We are working collaboratively with all Road Managers to better manage impacted areas, boosting access and the flow of freight on our national roads.”

The maps are available at


Posted by Darren Hayes> on Monday, November 23, 2015


The ATA will develop guidance for trucking operators and their customers to help ensure contracts are fair and meet all legal requirements.

The decision responds to the lengthening payment terms faced by many trucking businesses, as well as concerns that many smaller trucking businesses feel they lack the power to negotiate balanced contracts with their customers.

The Chief Executive of the ATA, Christopher Melham, said these factors meant that some small trucking operators found themselves signing whatever is required to get a job, without being in a position to weigh up what that contract could mean for the financial and operational aspects of their business.

“We know there’s sometimes a perception in trucking that if the wheels are turning, you’re all good,” Mr Melham said.

“But failing to examine the terms of a contract can lead to businesses taking on risks that should belong to customers, signing contracts with flawed chain of responsibility stipulations, or accepting payment terms they don’t have the cash flow to support.

“The ATA will develop a best-practice checklist for trucking industry contracts, which will be launched at Trucking Australia 2016.

“The detailed checklist and guidance material will be available exclusively to members of ATA member associations. Businesses will be able to use the material as they consider appropriate: they will not be required to use it.

“With information like this, there’s never been a better time to join an ATA member association and get a valuable range of member services,” Mr Melham said.

To develop the checklist, the ATA will ask trucking operators to nominate the contract areas that they find especially problematic. The ATA will also establish a new business standards reference group to provide detailed advice on contract and commercial practices in the industry.

The ATA will also lobby the Australian Government to improve the availability of information about the RSRT and ACCC requirements for trucking operators, including the requirements of the unfair contracts legislation that will come into effect next year.

The decision to develop the guidance material was taken by ATA members at their council meeting this week.


PFD switches entire fleet over to Allison transmissions

Posted by Darren Hayes> on Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Food distribution provider, PFD Food Services, has confirmed that it has switched its entire fleet of trucks from manual and automated manual gearboxes to Allison automatic transmissions.

According to Steve Wright, PFD National Fleet Manager, the move to Allison automatics resulted from a recent trial of an Allison-equipped truck at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea, Victoria.

“I have to say I came away impressed with the new generation of Allison transmissions and realized they were a much better option for our operations than manuals or AMTs,” Wright said.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit skilled drivers, so by providing Allison Automatics we do recruit with a truck that is easier to drive and requires less training is important.

“I believe automatics are the way of the future in distribution work, not only because of the ease of use, but also because of the efficiency and safety advantages they deliver. They are simply a smarter choice.”

PFD operates a fleet of more than 650 trucks, mostly Isuzu, which handles distribution to more than 40,000 outlets across the country. PFD has recently ordered 20 new Isuzu FVD 1000s equipped with Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmissions, some of which have already entered service.